Yesterday I was in Kangaroo Ground, in the far north-eastern end of my electorate, for their remembrance service at the war memorial there. It was another example of the strong community spirit in Kangaroo Ground. I was pleased to recently drop into the Andrew Ross Museum, where Warwick and Carol Leeson take the lead in curating this local museum for our community to enjoy. I’m proud to have supported them with a volunteer grant of $3,000 to acquire some new IT equipment. Warwick and Carol tell me they can now start the process of digitising their records to allow them to share information with Public Record Office Victoria’s collection.

Kangaroo Ground Primary School is a small but vibrant school in our community, and it was great to catch up with the principal, Laurie Murray, and to be introduced to his dedicated team of teachers and staff. The students at Kangaroo Ground primary had a great conversation with me and asked many probing questions, and I really enjoyed talking to them about my role as their federal member.

I was pleased to visit the Kangaroo Ground Pony Club, where Simon and Mel caught me up on all the club’s very busy activities and the support it receives from the local community. Again, I was proud to support the pony club with a $2,000 volunteer grant. This funding will help keep their grounds looking beautiful and suitable for all the equestrian events that are going on there. The members of the club do such a great job of engaging across the community.

As we approach the fire season, it is very important to acknowledge the work done by our local CFA brigades. In my local community, I was pleased to recently visit the Kangaroo Ground CFA and see the work they’re doing around fire preparedness and education. The Kangaroo Ground CFA, with Captain Duncan Bucknell at the helm, is doing important work to make sure our local residents are ready for the fire season. Thank you to all the team there for the work that they’re doing and for keeping me updated about the important efforts they’re putting in.

It was a pleasure for me to address the audience at the Banyule Neighbourhood House awards recently, where we celebrated the outstanding contributions of our Neighbourhood Watch team during Community Safety Month. I would like to express my gratitude to Neighbourhood Watch Banyule chair John Dowdle, secretary Lynn Rawson and the entire committee for inviting me to speak at their event. There were 30-year members there, and it’s wonderful to see such dedication to keeping our community safe.

I would like to thank my state colleague Vicki Ward for hosting her annual catch-up barbecue with our local northern Men’s Shed organisations. These Men’s Sheds do an exceptional job in engaging local older men as members here well know.

It was my absolute pleasure to visit Hohnes Road Playhouse in Eltham, where they showed me their new cubby house village, made possible by a Stronger Communities grant of $6,000. Natalie and Rebecca, who do a great job there, are telling me they’re looking forward to seeing the kids play in the new space—just in time for term 4.

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